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Personal definitions of "romance".


Mark
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I'm sort of interested in what people view as "romantic" or "not romantic".

 

What's making me wonder is seeing that my views appear rather different from others I've seen.

 

Such as desiring QPRs which include things like co-habitation; exclusivity (sometimes including sexual monogamy); "soul mates"; marriage; etc. Which I tend to see as romantic (or very "romance like"). I also find them rather repulsive.

 

I also see quite a few posts very much anti things like kissing, physical affection and "dating". Whereas I see them as annoyingly and frustratingly romantic coded. Very much I'd like to do more of/try for the first time.

 

Are our definitions of "romantic" shaped by our personal likes and dislikes?

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Good question! I'd love to see what kind of a variety of answers we get here.

 

Personally, I don't intepret much of anything in a romantic way by default, and only think of things as "romantic" if it seems like its intention is to impress the other person. Like for example, bad poetry, making a big scene in public, unfounded compliments/flattery. Anything that seems exaggerated or fake, like the person is putting on some sort of act to try and impress.

 

I'm not sure if I think dating strangers counts as romantic even... I don't view the act itself as particularly romantic, I just think it's a really strange thing to want to do. I guess I don't see particular actions as romantic, but the intention behind them can be, and when I notice that, it makes me squirm and want to run away or punch people. I'm not sure how I decide which intentions are romantic and which are not, though. Maybe it has something to do with how well the person knows the other person that they are doing those actions with. Like for example, if I know a couple that have been together for years having dinner together and holding hands, I'd think that's awesome. If it was 2 people I know who have just met 3 days ago and know next to nothing about each other, I would just facepalm. Exact same actions, different situation.

 

I like the idea of walking on the beach with someone, watching the sunset, I even like the idea of holding hands, but I wouldn't want other people to see it (because they'd take it the wrong way). I like the idea of kissing, although every time I've tried it it's been sort of disappointing and empty... I can't help but wonder if I'm doing it wrong somehow... still, it intrigues me. I like the idea of people being committed to each other in some way. I like the idea of that lasting a long time. I don't like it when people talk about "finding someone" to do these things with though, because that seems totally backward to me... I only like the idea of those things if they are aimed at a specific person that they already know, and preferably have known long enough to actually know.

 

I really like the idea of love, affection, and people expressing that to each other, in whatever ways they enjoy. I just think that the exaggerated fakeness of "romantic love" gets in the way of it more often than not.

 

This is why it was so hard for me to conclude that I'm actually aro, and why sometimes I still doubt it...

 

Although, if I insert myself into the "having dinner together and holding hands" scenario above, ... no. That would not happen. Not in public anyway. Maybe when nobody's looking... and even then I'd have to be REALLY REALLY SURE that the other person doesn't mean it in a romantic way. O.o

I have to be absolutely sure that someone is with me for the right reasons, and that they're not after me just because they find something about me physically attractive (this really pisses me off), or that they're in love with some idea about me that might not even be true, or some or other thing that isn't THE REAL ME. And, the "real me" is really hard to get to know, so... that doesn't really help I suppose.

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I feel like romance is not much about what you do, but more like a state of the mind in which romantic people kinda isolate themselves from the rest of the world to concentrate only on the subject of their love (or obsession). The "romantic thing or situation" in itself does not seem appealing to them unless the loved one is with them, it's meaningless unless they are with that "special" person. At least that's what I think I understand from what my friends told me...

Also, none of them was able to rationalize how and why they fall in love, which is oddly disturbing to me since I have zero appeal to anything that can't be rationally explained.

 

I have nothing against the holding hands, dating, kissing, etc. but I personally don't see the point so I avoid such things. If someone is confortable with it and actually enjoys it, it don't see why they should stop themself! (as long as the other person involved is also confortable) 

 

2 hours ago, SoulWolf said:

I have to be absolutely sure that someone is with me for the right reasons, and that they're not after me just because they find something about me physically attractive (this really pisses me off), or that they're in love with some idea about me that might not even be true, or some or other thing that isn't THE REAL ME. And, the "real me" is really hard to get to know, so... that doesn't really help I suppose.

I have the same issue, since romantic attraction seems to be unexplainable, I always have the feeling that those who crush on me don't fully appreciate the person that is "me". As if they were blinded by their pink glasses. 

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4 hours ago, Ugh... said:

 

I feel like romance is not much about what you do, but more like a state of the mind in which romantic people kinda isolate themselves from the rest of the world to concentrate only on the subject of their love (or obsession).

 

 This^

 

I've always viewed romance as a shallow obsession where people for some reason obsess over someone they barely know. The idea of being 'in love' has always been somewhat creepy to me, and very, very different from actual love.

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An irrational feeling that's apparently meant to lead to a deeper kind of commitment? I mean, sometimes I genuinely like the feeling of having a crush on someone, but the niceness doesn't last long for me, usually.

And I'm not sure I've ever been past primary attraction, unless that happened with my first boyfriend, but I really can't remember now as I was with him 17 years ago.

So, for me romance is just something that screams "IT'S A TRAP!" when I think about how that initially nice feeling leads me to feeling distressed and confused, and it just seems hollow or superficial.

I'm just glad I rarely feel it.

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Sometimes when my friends talk about their crushes I feel like saying "You disgust me" -_-

 

Agreed with everyone above

 

I still can't figure out the difference between limerance and obsession for the life of me but I'm assuming limerance is a specialized form of obsession that involves multiple stages? Also what is love-sickness? (Cereal asks too many questions)

 

Speaking of the pink glasses, my romantic friends keep coming to me for brutal honesty on their partners because I'm unaffected lol It's hilarious

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On 15/01/2017 at 1:26 PM, SoulWolf said:

I like the idea of walking on the beach with someone, watching the sunset, I even like the idea of holding hands, but I wouldn't want other people to see it (because they'd take it the wrong way). I like the idea of kissing, although every time I've tried it it's been sort of disappointing and empty... I can't help but wonder if I'm doing it wrong somehow... still, it intrigues me. I like the idea of people being committed to each other in some way. I like the idea of that lasting a long time. I don't like it when people talk about "finding someone" to do these things with though, because that seems totally backward to me... I only like the idea of those things if they are aimed at a specific person that they already know, and preferably have known long enough to actually know.

I'd like to do these things, nobody currently know wants to do them (with me). What option do I have except to somehow "find" at least one new person who does want to?
 

On 15/01/2017 at 1:26 PM, SoulWolf said:

Although, if I insert myself into the "having dinner together and holding hands" scenario above, ... no. That would not happen. Not in public anyway. Maybe when nobody's looking... and even then I'd have to be REALLY REALLY SURE that the other person doesn't mean it in a romantic way. O.o

How can I be sure that everyone is clear that my wanting to do these kind of things has nothing to do with romance?
Since my only possible partners are likely to be alloromantic...

 

22 hours ago, Ugh... said:

I feel like romance is not much about what you do, but more like a state of the mind in which romantic people kinda isolate themselves from the rest of the world to concentrate only on the subject of their love (or obsession). The "romantic thing or situation" in itself does not seem appealing to them unless the loved one is with them, it's meaningless unless they are with that "special" person.

I just don't get the "special person" concept. Maybe that's why I find (queer) platonic versions of "marriage" and "soul mate" just as repulsive as those which are "romantic".

 

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

I'd like to do these things, nobody currently know wants to do them (with me). What option do I have except to somehow "find" at least one new person who does want to?

Well, that makes sense. I guess what I meant was that I don't understand wanting to do those things without already having a person in mind to do them with. Sort of as an expression of affection for that specific person. I'm not sure if I'm making sense...

I guess the reason I have an issue with that at all is because most of the time when people try to find people to do those things with, it's within the context of 'dating', which in most cases seems to involve people who don't really know each other, and I don't understand how they can 'force' affection and closeness with people who are basically strangers. I mean, I'd kind of like to find someone to do some of that stuff with in a totally non-romantic way. But I wouldn't go actively looking for them, because for me it isn't about doing those activities, it's about sharing them with someone I already care about.

 

1 hour ago, Mark said:

How can I be sure that everyone is clear that my wanting to do these kind of things has nothing to do with romance?
Since my only possible partners are likely to be alloromantic...

I think they could probably understand if they tried.

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Well I've never experienced it, I don't really know...

 

But from what I've observed it's... Something that makes you want to spend the rest of your lives together. Something that makes it difficult to be apart. That makes you imagine the rest of your lives together. That makes you imagine doing things together you personally perceive as 'romantic'.

 

I get envious with squishes, so I didn't include that. I would want to remain friends for life with squishes, but that's not quite the same as 'spending the rest of your lives together'. The lives are still separate. It can sometimes be difficult to be apart, but that's very rare. And usually only if I've not seen them for a long time. And I've never imagined doing anything resembling romantic with a squish. That sound feels gross and wrong to do.

 

So I think that's what separates them for me.

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Interesting topic.

To me what repulses me about romantic love is the emotionally intensity of it. To have one person which is the center of your life, that is much more important than any other. And to need to be close to them so much of the time, emotionally and physically. So that's not specific to just romantic I guess.

Another part though is how arbitrary it often feels. Like others said they don't want to spend time with you because they enjoy it but rather because they have this involuntarily feeling for you.

 

So I think with a friend that:

1. did not view me as any more important than any other of their friends, and

2. clearly choose to spend time with me solely because they enjoyed it
I'd be fine with most romantic activities. Like hand holding, dinner by candle light, cuddling. I don't care about these things but if I had a friend who liked doing such things with their friends I'd be ok with it I think.

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